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Published August 30, 2011
A few days ago, I returned home to my apartment where my roommate, in an usually formal way, informed me that he "didn't want to freak me out or anything," but there was a "weird gay thing" he was keeping in the refrigerator called a popper. A little back-story: I am straight person living in New York City, and my roommate is a gay man named Jason. His name is Brent, but for privacy purposes we will call him Jason. To be honest, I was somewhat alarmed by his I-don't-want-to-freak-you-out disclaimer. Not because I am freaked out by gay things, but because Jason is, at most times, so wildly unconcerned about offending or embarrassing me. Most of our interactions consist of him calling me "baby" and texting me "jokes" such as "IM GONNA FILL YO AZZ SO DEEP YOURE GONNA BARF MY CUM. JK. LETS CALL YOUR DAD!" (emphasis his). So when, for the first time ever, he thought I might get freaked out about something gay-related, I had some questions. Questions like, "What the fuck are you talking about?" and "Why is it in the refrigerator?" Jason attempted to answer some of my questions. Poppers, as he explained, are a product widely used in the gay club culture as an inhalant-type-drug / muscle-relaxer to make bottoming easier and / or more exciting. They come in a small thing that looks like a 5 Hour Energy bottle and you sniff it before sex. The particular brand Jason had bought was called Jungle Juice.

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And that's super weird because it is not juice. You don't sniff juice. Also, it's unclear how "jungle" comes into play here. In fact, a lot of things about the labeling of this product are just wrong.

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It is a liquid, and there's no disputing that it has a black label. Those two things are true. Now, I cannot speak with authority on how extreme of a formula it actually is, but even if you're generous, only half of the bottle's main assertions are correct. And while that is all certainly a mess, the most confusing part of the bottle is actually on the side.

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Sniffing isn't exactly consuming, but it's close enough so that it should cause some concern. If I was walking down the street and there was some guy wearing a gold chain and tank top undershirt yelling, "I don't know what these homosexuals are up to!" I would think he was a complete asshole. But, honestly... I have no idea what these homosexuals are up to. Jason grew tired of being bombarded with questions, so I decided to do a little independent research to try to get to the bottom of all of this. The website dedicated to Jungle Juice, however, was just as vague and contradictory as the the label.

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"Welcome to the official Jungle Juice Organization! Well, not quite." Jesus Christ, Jungle Juice, you are a disaster. And the site just gets more creepy and coy from there.

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Do you know how shady a thing has to be before it is written about evasively ON THE INTERNET?! You can find out how to make a bomb on the internet, but even the OFFICIAL (well not quite) Jungle Juice Organization won't tell you exactly what a popper is used for. What the Jungle Juice Organization does tell you, though, are answers to a lot of questions you didn't even know you had. For example, after a rare moment of clarity where they explain that Jungle Juice contains amyl nitrate, they try to explain why that ingredient is not in some other poppers (or as they insist on calling them, "aromas").
 

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Locker Room Marketing: Yikes. Also, everything else in that paragraph: Yikes. Don't worry though, they give you another vague answer to what was likely your immediate followup question, which, by the way, is just a really well formulated question.

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"The almighty FDA." You mean the administration whose job it is to make sure you can't sell poison for people to sniff? Yes, that one. There are a couple of other questions the official (well not quite) Jungle Juice Organization responds to with long and winding explanations, but the first sentences of the answers are all you really need.

fake-juice1 bad-guys

That last one is just some good, solid advice even if you aren't looking to huff some sort of gay sex ether. But what's scary is that if you look at the top of the
page, they have a picture of Jungle Juice.

real-jungle-juice
That's not what Jason's Jungle Juice looks like! He has fake jungle juice. Presumably from a bad guy! I hope everything turns out okay. I really don't want to have to call his dad.

[This is by no means meant to be a definitive account of what poppers are. If you want to find out more about poppers, first of all why, but second of all just Wikipedia it.]

Noah's Blog: www.noahgarfinkel.com
Noah on Twitter: @NoahGarfinkel
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